HCC hopes to finally choose president in January

The Haywood Community College Board of Trustees will meet on Dec. 19 to interview eight candidates who hope to be the college’s next president.

The board will not name a new president after the meeting, said Chairman Bob Morris. And, with the holidays quickly approaching, the board will wait until after the New Year to resume their deliberations and announce their top pick for HCC president. The college is not releasing the names of its eight finalists.

The Board of Trustees had initially hoped to have a new president in place by June this year when Rose Johnson retired from the position. However, the deadline was pushed back to the fall and Johnson agreed to stay on until Oct. 30.

The search made it all the way to three finalists, who visited the college and met with community members as well as HCC employees, but the board could not agree on whom to pick. So instead, the board members voted to open the search up again.

However, Johnson, who had already pushed back her retirement date, informed the board that she would not delay her departure any longer, and HCC was forced to take a brief break from its president search to find an interim to fill the position until the college chose a new president.

William Aiken, former president of Sampson Community College in Clinton, is currently acting as HCC’s interim president while the board narrows its field of candidates.

The Board of Trustees received 45 applications during its second attempt to find a president and whittled that down to nine. Those nine candidates were asked to submit a video of themselves answering a list of questions, which the board then reviewed. From those nine, the board decided to interview eight in person on Dec. 19.

— By Caitlin Bowling

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